— We are excited to have started building the SURE HOUSE in a parking lot on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken New Jersey. “SURE Construction” is a subset of our PopSci blog that we’ll use to chronicle our construction process. Check back often if you want to follow our progress and get a first hand view of how a sustainable and resilient house takes shape.


Strength and Thermal Efficiency

SURE HOUSE’s roof is framed with engineered lumber for increased strength and to reduce thermal bridging.

Beams + Columns

Primary beams connect steel columns…

Roof + Walls

…to wood wall framing…

I-Joist Support

…creating support for the secondary structure of the I-joists.

Putting the “i” in Efficiency

Compared to dimensional lumber, I-joists have a thin profile that reduces the volume of material displacing insulation in the roof cavity, also called a “thermal bridge”
Since we have the unique demand of having to dismantle and reconstruct our house a couple of times, we have to get creative in order to meet our performance goals. This is one of two internal joints where our house will be separated into modules for shipping. In a typical house, the I-joists would be continuous here, foregoing a long linear expanse of framing that displaces insulation. Our solution is to install rigid foam on the roof therefore covering the framing in insulation and avoiding a thermal bridge.

Keeping it all Tight

As with our walls, air sealing is integrated with the roof framing process. Here pieces of our air barrier material, Intello, are stapled to the top of our primary beams…

Roof Air Barrier

…allowing for an air barrier uninterrupted by structural framing.

Structure Complete

With the addition of a 1 foot tall parapet, the skeleton of our house is complete. Keep checking back as we continue to chronicle our construction process.